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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  February 11, 2010 7:00pm-7:10pm EST

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same artery? >> well, the problem he had was not necessarily the artery this time, it was the bypass vessel that they used in surgery closed. it left him with the diseased artery he had at the time of surgery. they went back and repaired that. the problem he had was not necessarily with the art police his heart, anything there it was the fact one of his graft also closed. >> would he have to expeer yep much more of a lifestyle change from this point on? >> i think what happens when a patient has an event like this you reassess everything you are doing to the patient. you look at all the medicines they are talking, you look at all the various blood test and try to no knock it up a notch in terms of trying to decrease all the risk of this happening again. >> and if we can say this, we haven't said it tonight, sleep definitely is important, is it not, doctor? >> sleep? getting a good night's sleep tonight would be good n terms of changing your lifestyle, he looks as if he has done a
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terrific job in becoming more active, losing weight. and i think he can top to do all the work that he is doing without any major limitation and in the long run. >> dr. cole, thanks for your time tonight. appreciate it so much. >> you're welcome. >> that is our coverage "the ed show" tonight. again, recapping, stay with msnbc for the updates on president clinton's condition. chris matthews has more on a live edition of "hardball," right here on msnbc. how's the former president? this is "hardball." good evening, i'm chris math news washington. bill clinton has been hospitalized in new york city, as we have been reporting. he underwent a procedure to replace two accidents in one of his coronary arteries much the former president is not in any
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life-threatening condition. he went to the hospital under his own power after a visit with his cardiologist. his daughter, chelsea is with him at the columbia campus of new york presbyterian hospital and secretary of state hillary clinton is headed to new york right now. president clinton, who is 63 years old, successful quadruple bypass surgery back six years ago in 2004. a statement released by his office, the former president's office, says he is in good spirits and will continue to focus on the work of his foundation, that is the clinton global foundation, and haiti's recovery efforts, of which he is at the forefront. nbc's savannah guthrie is at the white house with the latest and bob bazell is nbc news's chief science and medical correspondent. we want to go first to savannah with the president, president clinton's role with regard to all of this. is he in touch with the former president? what is going on where you're reporting? >> reporter: of course, the president had a regularly scheduled meeting with secretary of state hillary clinton this afternoon that meeting went on as scheduled and then after that the president was told by white
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house chief of staff rahm emanuel about the former president being in the hospital. we don't know whether or not president obama has spoken to any members of the family since learning that news. as you mentioned, hillary clinton on her way to new york city now. she was supposed to leave for an overseas trip tomorrow night, that has now been postponed but at this moment, is still expected to go on probably a departure from washington on saturday. as you new york the former president had been at the white house recently because of the work with haiti relief efforts with former president george w. bush, who also released a same this afternoon saying that he had been in touch with chelsea clinton and that of course, he and laura bush's prayers were with the family. as best as we can understand it the former president, according to a hospital source, had not been feeling well the last couple of days, called his cardiologist and said he wanted to come in. that first doctor's appointment was actually supposed to be yesterday but then got postponed. he decided to postpone it he came in today and they decided
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to go forward with this accident procedure. chris? >> thank you, savannah. here is a statement from former president's office itself. today, president bill clinton was admitted to the columbia campus of new york presbyterian hospital after feelsing discomfort in his chest. following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to replace two accidents in one of his coronary arteries. president clinton is in good spirally and the finance continue to focus on the work of his foundation and hitty's relief and long-term recovery efforts n 2004, president clinton underwent a successful quadruple bypass operation to free four blocked arteries. we will go to robert bazell right now. thank you. again, we have been reporting throughout the afternoon here. give us the connection between having had bypass surgery six years ago and the placing of the accidents in his coronary artery? >> the connection is former president bill clinton has
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coronary artery disease that means he has a buildup of plaque, the stuff that contains cholesterol in his arteries and keeps building up. for some reason, they haven't been able to control it with medications. even after he had the bypass. he has not had a heart attack and a heart attack occurs when that plaque ruptures and causes a complete disruption of the blood flow to the heart. he has had these two procedures which are called revascularization, increasing the blood flow. this is a die gramm of how the accident work, a tube is placed in the heart and the piece of metal is the stent and reopens the arteries, allowing flood flow to resume to the heart. this is such a common procedure, chris, 1 million americans a year get this. there has about a pushback in the death rate of heart disease in the last decades and because of procedures like. this people use toddy of heart disease in their 40s and 50s but
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noir their 80s and 90s, which makes a huge difference in the health of america. one of the great success stories of american medicine has been the treatment of cardiovascular disease but some people, like the former president clinton, where you can cure one problem and the plaque keeps building up and that is something that's caused by genetics or possibly by a look of exercise, more likely to be just a genetic problem that doctors can't get under control with medication. chris? >> so fascinating because, of course, he is the former president and beloved by so many millions of people but also, he leads such a robust life. i mean this guy, when you think of bill clinton, you think of a guy rounding into a room full of life, saying hello to everybody, shaking every hand in the room, giving autographs and going off and doing important things every day of his life. if you were his doctor, if you were a doctor and you were prescribing a treatment for him, would you say keep it up bill or would you say go cool it somewhere and relax somewhere? >> absolutely keep it up. i think the -- there is a kind of stress that has been related
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to heart disease very repeatedly. but that is the kind of stress of somebody who has lost a job and can't support his or her family. that kind of stress is well known to bring on heart disease but having an active life, being fulfilled, even if you're very, very busy, is not something that causes heart disease and i don't think there is a cardiologist who is going to tell this former president to slow down. he is going to be in the hospital overnight tonight for sure, maybe one more night, maybe not. he may well go home tomorrow that would be standard procedure and he will rest at home for a while to make sure that there isn't a closing of the artery immediately, which happens in a tiny percentage of the case. and it is important to remember that former president -- former vice president dick cheney has had both of these same procedures and he is still living a very active life. so -- and we can see that not just with famous people but with people all around us in our own families and across the country. a lot of people who have had these procedures who continue to be very healthy and active and absolutely no reason to think
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that bill clinton won't. so it is so interesting that some people when they get the bad news, have a heart attack or have accidents put in, kath threat tezization which is serious and some don't. lyndon johnson, when he was president, i'm a student of history, as you know, so many of us are when he was taken out of office, left office that last time, replaced by richard nixon, he lit up a cigarette on the airplane saying i have lived for the country all these years, now i am going to live for myself. he didn't last, what, more than four or five years. if you don't take care of yourself, you are going. >> very important and a really good analogy and he knew when he said that to everybody he was going to die of heart disease because his father had it, we know this runs in families but lyndon johnson lived in the era before there were bypass operations, before there were accidents. those just started, don't forget, in the '70s. so in those times, there was nothing to be done for somebody who had progressive heart disease. >> ah. >> not statins to reduce your cholesterol levels. there was no treatment, other
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than for heart attack and bill clinton has not had a heart attack but no treatment other than bed rest. so we are really looking, with those two examples, of the progress that's been made in medicine. now we have bypass surgeries, now we have these accidents, all have one pore pos, which is to reopen the blood flow to the heart so that you can go on living a normal life. and if you haven't had a heart attack, and bill clinton hasn't had a heart attack that means there was no muscle damage to the heart so no reason that his long-term outlook should be any worse than it was before but all that shows the progress. in lyndon johnson's day, just about the time, incidentally, my father divide a heart attack so i remember it very well, it was -- there was nothing to be done. you just died of your heart disease. people that were called cardiac cripples in those days in the 1960s because they would have repeated heart attacks, damage to their heart mulls, now all these treatments available and see bill clinton, dick cheney and others who are not so famous undergoing them all the time. >> that is fascinating.
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if you are bill clinton today


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